Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thoth in the Halls of Amenti

Free was I from the Halls of Amenti
bound not by death to the circle of life.
Far to the stars I journeyed until
space and time became as nothing. 

Then having drunk deep of the cup of Wisdom,
I looked into the hearts of men and there found I
greater mysteries and was glad.
For only in the search for Truth could my soul
be stilled and the flame within me quenched.

Thoth, 11,000 BC

Vertical Horizontal, copr 1992 

The above are details of this piece, which is more about sound than visuality.
If you sit quietly for an hour or so you will begin to hear these.
I don't know if they are horizontal sounds or vertical--
probably doesn't matter.  



L.W.Roth, said...

These are beautiful Bill. I especially like the long middle section. How big is the entire piece and how do these go together? You are a complex man Sir and have aroused my curiosity about the whole of it.

William Cook said...

That was quick,Linda. I just now posted this. The piece is 19X25. I just grabbed a bunch of details from it suggesting more to explore. Thanks for checking in!

John Simlett said...

Don't begin to understand many things you say, Bill .. I'm a numpty ... BUT ... I love these pictures , the texture is incredible, Maybe that's a little Philistine, but I only see what I can see, which not be what you might wish me to see!!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Every night I turn on my soother--white noise has helped me sleep for 20 years. Sometimes I can detect the loops and they annoy the heck out of me.

Now you've put those loops on paper, and they're beautiful. I think I know these sounds.

William Cook said...

That's OK John, I don't know that I understand what I say either, and I like "numpty"--fits me as well. All poetics aside, I'm so glad you've responded favorably to the texture in these. I was trying to get swatches large enough so that one could notice. They're so intricate that the textural qualities don't show up at all on the computer screen. I think you've seen precisely what I was expressing. Best.

Hi Hallie--I should have known you would be the one with a white noise machine. I didn't know they existed until my daughter bought one for the baby. Of course I loved it at once--kid (and me) sleeps like a baby. I'm so happy you can relate to these as visual "sound". I've had a lot of difficulty verbalizing anything intelligible about them. Everything I've tried seems inadequate. But visual sound seems right. Best.

RH Carpenter said...

Subliminal suggestion, Bill? Looking at these (parts of a whole), I actually did hear drumbeats, women's laughter, the scritch of the pen on paper...pleasant, human sounds. Beautiful, thought-provoking works you've created here. Whether we understand or not, there is joy and much admiration in seeing the outcome.

William Cook said...

I'm not sure, Rhonda, that 'understanding' is even necessary.
I rather like the kind of art presentation that leaves reactions and interpretations up to the viewer, and so be it. It is very gratifying that you've expressed a number of wonderful musings set off by these pieces.

I'm not consciously trying to send anything subliminal, just that I wanted to show the surface detail, which characterizes my work but is not apparent in miniature form. That said, I did make a compositional selection.

Wonderful, thoughtful comments--thanks!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.

Horizontal makes me think of staves and notes and what kind of instrument responds to this notation? Seems to go through the page and come back out like bit of thread.

Vertical and I am reminded of fretwork and strings and how many strings are on this instrument and how I can I play them? Is it Mixolydian? What will it sound like?

How can I join in? Hum? Sing? Cup my hands and clap my body in dis-rhythmic percussion?

Still thinking. You can tell, I have more to do.

William Cook said...

Hi Katherine--What a fantastic idea that this horizontal/vertical thing could be a complex stringed instrument, and how is it played(?). Very cool indeed.

When I first started with these in 1977 I was thinking more along the lines of an oscilloscope gone wrong. You know, "...we control the horizontal; we control the vertical" only haywire. Fifteen years later I read Chopra describing string theory. Freaked out. Surely this is what I had intuited.

And now as musical staves or an instrument from some highly advanced culture that no one knows how to play the music or work the instrument. Shucks. I'm gettin all Leonard Nimoy. Great comment.

Dan Kent said...

I love the texture, and the softness, and the chaos mixed with order, in the details. But the full piece is breathtaking - softness - it does seem a pictorial representation of sound.

William Cook said...

Many thanks, Dan, I so happy you checked in. Great comment regarding the juxtaposition of order and kaos. In an earlier series I kept them separate where each piece had a meticulously drawn object, and next to it a thrown paint area. These are actually a refinement of those older things. I haven't seen them in so long, thanks for the reminder. Shall I dig one out and post it?

Dan Kent said...


m.gaudreau said...

Hey Bill, I have really been enjoying your explorations and thinking how opposite they are to your illustration work as if you are seeking balance.

William Cook said...

Hi Mike--Very cool observation. I think there's a lot of truth to what you say regarding balance. I am rather fond of the occasional spasmodic mark though, even within the illustrations. I like the irreverence.